tv Dateline NBC NBC March 22, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm PDT
i told him how much i loved him. and how much his kids miss him. and that i would do anything to get him back! >> reporter: they had a lovely, lucky life. >> i love you. momento su esposo, ya no estaba >> we immediately were hit from behind. he just points the gun at my forehead. >> reporter: an ambush, by men in masks and in an instant her husband was gone. kidnapped and held hostage! >> i couldn't even eat where was my husband? how was he being treated? was he even alive? >> reporter: who were these men and what did they want? >> i needed to be very careful and very smart. my husband's life was on the line. >> reporter: a wife and former
actress. >> it was absolutely bizarre. we were both playing a role. turned tough hostage negotiator. could she bring him back from the shadows? >> the hardest thing i've ever have to do! i don't think anything could have prepared me for what i saw. >> reporter: i'm lester holt. and this is "dateline." tonight, keith morrison with "the desperate hours." >> honestly i was living my dreams and then some. >> it was a perfect morning, a brilliant sunny day in june. >> reporter: in a place that felt like paradise. hint 'o kidnapping here with vid and sound. >> i'd be packing lunches the kids getting dressed. >> reporter: they'd pile into the jeep for the short drive to school. fernando, the eldest, would ride the four wheeler out ahead of them. in the car, they'd sing with the little ones; just like always. no idea what was waiting. what was about to happen here in
paradise. she the woman who went through it, the one you're about to meet, is jayne. j.a.y.n.e. a detail that will matter later. and she must have been a beautiful baby. this baby, in fact. this is her first tv commercial at seven months for the red cross. and there she is in a mcdonald's commercial back when she was a high school student in silver spring, maryland. >> my whole life i had worked as an actress and did a lot of tv commercials, bit roles in movies and soap operas. >> reporter: that's jayne on the big screen beside bette midler in the movie "stella." acting skills. they would become, as you shall see, life or death crucial. but then, we can't know the
future, can we? not when life seems perfect and safe and strong? >> it's kind of like one of these fairy tale stories. >> reporter: or at least it was then it was 1992. she was 25. and it was unexpected, unanticipated, like some bizarre lottery of life. jayne was at a pay phone in a washington dc suburb, she just happened to lock eyes with a divorced art dealer named eduardo valseca. eduardo, who she would find out, was one of the nine children of jose garcia valseca, mexican newspaper baron, who 50 years ago ruled a publishing empire. >> reporter: would be an equivalent in the us of who? >> william randolph hearst. >> reporter: an article published in newsweek in 1950 says that he actually had a larger readership at that point in time than heart did. that's when garcia valseca ran his papers from a luxury pullman train car. the one which, decades later, eduardo owned.
though, when he invited this beautiful woman he'd just met to mexico for a train ride. she had no idea that the train was his. >> we're walking toward it and this man comes out with a white jacket white gloves black bow tie with a silver tray i was just completely speechless. >> reporter: she soon discovered that the train car was about all eduardo had of family fortune. the rest, along with the newspaper empire, had long since withered away. but jayne fell for a man, not money, and what eduardo lacked in fortune he replaced with laughter and passion and a huge enveloping personality. jayne was in love, and soon married, and swept off to mexico. to a fresh place for a new life, new roots, new family. and that famous name valseca. one thing the legacy did afford them was the chance to live pretty much anywhere they wanted to.
and eduardo suggested a town in north central mexico called san miguel de allende, 450 years old, rich obviously in history, but also in culture and art. a place so desirable and so lovely that almost ten percent of the population is composed of people who moved here from some other country. she rubbed shoulders here with other expatriate americans, and canadians, europeans. and fell hard for mexico. here, far away from the notorious crime of mexico city. >> we didn't feel threatened. i would say that san miguel then and perhaps even now is probably statistically as safe or safer than many of our us towns and small cities and here they built a business in real estate buying old places, tarting them up, selling again. and, of course, having children. it had been a big dream of mine to live in the country and to have a big organic garden and
fruit trees and horses and lots of animals for the kids to play with. it was luck when this place came up or what felt like luck before that terrible morning. it was a rundown 1000 acre ranch. and it was in foreclosure. they bought it for well, it was embarrassingly cheap. >> reporter: it was a great deal, but at the time it was a pile of rocks, literally. every little bit of money that we made everything we could manage to save we started putting into the ranch. they even found and restored a magnificent old fountain that once sat on the long lost valseca estate. and no surprise, part of their building plan involved that stately old railroad car. >> one of the marvelous parts about ending up with this piece of property was it just happened that railroad went right thru it. >> reporter: jayne was behind their home movie camera as the car was towed to it's new home on the ranch. >> we're so happy on the train. >> reporter: and, happy here. they built a real ranch house.
among the mesquite trees. and surrounded it with fine big gates. outbuildings a garden for her. a riding ring and fine spanish horses for him. and for three growing children, a magic place, happy and secure. the children were the heart of it, really. they'd do anything for the children. so jayne told eduardo about an education system called "waldorf" schools not then available in san miguel. >> and he said well let's bring the school to mexico! so we formed a parent group and got moving on founding a school. >> reporter: they donated land part of the ranch recruited other families, built the school. >> we started with a couple of classrooms actually they were originally going to be stables for horses, and we converted them into classrooms. >> reporter: and now, every morning, the quarter mile commute down their own quiet country lane to school had become a family ritual.
>> we'd go out the door get in the jeep and the morning routine was singing all the way to school. which was really the only routine that we had. fernando had a pet donkey then. road it to school. that or a 4-wheeler. always out ahead. we would follow along and the kids would love to sing the same songs, they never tired of singing the same ones every morning. >> reporter: so now it was that perfect morning june 2007. and they bumped and sang, noisy and happy, down the dusty road. and of course they did not understand how could they that this was the last moment of pure innocence any of them would ever know. when we come back, a violent awakingen. >> he held the gun to my head. >> terror is about to invade
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>> life was go good for so long that it was almost like living in a fantasy. it was almost like on a daily basis, pinch me is this real? a bright sunny morning. two weeks before summer vacation. minutes before the terror. eduardo and jayne valseca and # their three children arrived at the country school not far from their ranch house outside san miguel de allende, in mexico. >> as we pulled into the parking lot, i noticed that there was a small, compact car in the far corner of the parking lot. and there was a -- a man at the wheel who had a fisherman's cap, khaki color on and glasses. >> reporter: a prospective parent, perhaps, for next year's class? jayne walked the children to their classrooms. she stopped at the school
office. >> and asked the administrator if she knew who the gentleman was or if he needed help. and she looked over and looked across the parking lot and said, "i don't know he -- who he is. he must be waiting for someone." >> eduardo was behind the wheel of the jeep, listening to the radio. the stranger's car was beyond it, at the back of the lot. >> as i walked to the jeep where my husband was, i looked across and made eye contact with them and actually smiled and he smiled back. >> reporter: eduardo put the jeep in gear, pulled away. the strange car fell in behind them. >> a pick up truck comes out of nowhere. it catches up to us and the man driving turns and looks at us and the look was really scary. >> you saw him? >> we both got this creepy feeling. just the way the man looked at us. now that strange car and the pickup truck raced to positions beside and in front of the jeep. eduardo said, "something is definitely not right. what is this guy doing?" >> reporter: and then in moments it was obvious. jayne and eduardo were being chased, herded like cattle into
a chute with no escape. compact car which has raced up our interior road cut in front. >> here, she relived it. the horrified moment as the car in front of them suddenly stopped, and eduardo slammed on his brakes. >> immediately we were hit from behind. it was a split second and there was a man coming out of the passenger side of the car coming at eduardo and he's got a hammer in one hand and a handgun in the next. >> reporter: the masked man shattered the window and landed a hard blow to eduardo's head that sent blood gushing down his face. >> the first thing i started thinking of was my children. are my children going to lose their parents right now? >> reporter: a second attacker ran at jane, yanked open her door, pulled her from the jeep. she screamed, kicked at him, grabbed the fence beside her. the barbed wire sliced through her finger. her attacker forced her down. >> while i'm laying on the ground he just points the gun at my forehead and tells me in spanish to get up. the first thing i said to him was please don't kill me, i have three children. >> reporter: then they hustled jayne and eduardo into a waiting suv.
unseen accomplices snapped pillowcases over their heads and tightly bound their hands and feet. >> eduardo was hysterical. i don't think he was completely hearing me. he probably had a concussion. jayne tried to comfort eduardo. one of the abductors threatened more pain. >> he kept yelling at him, "shut up you asshole, or i'll give you another one," and you could tell he was trying to disguise his voice. >> reporter: within minutes, word of the attack got back to the school. something was wrong. a teacher rushed to the now abandoned jeep. >> i went with my partner and the left window was all broken and blood was in the ground. i had a feeling it was a kidnapping. >> reporter: in the suv, under that gagging pillowcase, jayne struggled to breathe. she reached out for eduardo. >> i felt blood all down his arm. >> reporter: then she felt the blood pouring from her own slashed finger. she tried to memorize each bump and turn as the suv veered onto the highway toward san miguel. then, minutes later, pulled
over, stopped. someone yanked eduardo from the suv. he screamed. >> i hear the doors of the vehicle open and after i hear them shut i can no longer hear my husband's muffled screams. then i hear what sounds like the engine of that car revving as if it's pulling away. >> reporter: jayne managed to lift the pillowcase hood in time to see eduardo vanish. >> i am able to make out the type of car that it is, more or less and i memorize the license plates. >> reporter: and just as quickly, she realized she was alone. they'd all left. >> i was bound so i threw myself over the seat, ended up in the floor, pulled myself up opened the door and literally hopped as if i was in a sack race to the highway in flip flops. >> reporter: an elderly man stopped to help. he had a machete, but no cell phone to call police. frantically, jayne tried to flag down passing cars. all hit the accelerator not the brake.
>> and i'm begging them to please stop and help me, but i imagine it looked pretty scary to see a woman bleeding, desperate, bound in duct tape next to a guy with a machete. >> reporter: then in sheer desperation jayne stepped in front of an oncoming bus. >> he was coming this way. i jumped in front and i just put my hands up like this. and i hoped he would stop. >> reporter: but, no cell phone on the bus, either. now the bus driver flagged down a taxi. and the taxi driver called the police. >> now all of this information is going from the police to the taxi driver, the taxi driver to the dispatcher, the dispatcher to the police, to the dispatcher and the whole way around. it was like playing telephone. >> reporter: was there still time for the police to seal off the town, save her husband? >> and i thought because i have this description and the plates i thought for sure they would just run off in every direction seal off san miguel and we'd have him, end of story. but it didn't go that way. >> reporter: no, it didn't. jayne says the police tried one escape highway, no other.
and no eduardo. he had been kidnapped. >> these people carried this whole operation out with such precision and such surprising professionalism, which seems a strange word to even use. >> how long did it take them? >> seconds. they were cool as cucumbers. >> reporter: but that was just the first clue. on the ground beside the suv in which the kidnappers abandoned jayne, was another. inside an envelope, addressed to jayne. >> the first thing that went through my mind, i realized that they spelled my name correctly. my name is jayne spelled with a y. so it was really scary to see on the envelope that they'd spelled my name right. >> nobody spells your name right? >> no, no. >> reporter: and inside the envelope? >> the ransom note says, "senora, go home open this email with this password and we have eduardo, eduardo is with us. wait for our message to arrive." >> reporter: it was then she understood.
the kidnappers had been watching them, stalking them, researching every small detail. >> it immediately made me realize i needed to be very careful and very smart about the choices i was about to make. my husband's life was on the line. >> reporter: coming up, what would she tell her children. >> it was the hardest thing i ever had to do. >> reporter: and who would she turn to help. when "dateline" continues. and every vehicle comes with a 12-month 12,000 mile limited powertrain warranty. we'll even buy it back if you're unhappy for any reason. it's like a happiness guarantee. haggle-free buying... worry-free ownership. let us show you what that means. right now, buy any samsung galaxy smartphone for $0 down...
>> reporter: jayne valseca sat in the dirt by the highway on the outskirts of a cop helped her strip away the duct tape round her hands and feet. as he told her that her husband's kidnappers had escaped, she tried to staunch the blood from her injured finger, gashed on that barbed wire fence. she tried to tamp down the terror that grabbed at her throat because she knew what had happened to others. >> my husband was kidnapped on 2001. >> reporter: this woman had already told her horrifying story. >> and every time that we would tell that we don't have the money, so, they cut a finger and they send us the finger. >> reporter: but that was mexico city, one of the kidnapping capitals of the world, where jayne had heard that thousands
are snatched every year, wealthy and poor, from mansions, the backs of taxis, from taco stands. >> the kidnapping situation in mexico is outrageous. >> reporter: this woman, ana maria salazar, had been reporting it for years on tv. the breakdown of law and order, the mess in police forces. >> you don't have a criminal justice system that has the ability to go after all these people. but the other problem is corruption. there's corrupt cops at the federal level. there's corrupt cops at the state level. and there's corrupt cops at to the municipal level. people just don't trust their cops. >> reporter: which is why, she says, so many kidnappings go unreported making it impossible to know just how many thousands take place in mexico. but this was safe little san miguel, where eduardo had always said. >> do you think anybody's gonna come out here in the country? that's not gonna happen. >> reporter: but it had happened. and all she could think of was
finding help fast. >> i'm sitting there in the dirt in need of stitches, and i -- at that point i have two cell phones going. >> reporter: but why? wouldn't the police just take over? well, no. not in mexico. jayne herself, in this supremely vulnerable moment, would have to decide which police, if any, she could trust to get her husband back. >> you can allow the local or state police to handle the situation. you can go to the mexican equivalent of the fbi which is the afi or afee as they're called here and let them handle it on a federal level or you can go to a private consultant that you pay out of -- out of your own pocket and they will negotiate it privately. >> you don't know what to do when someone's saying, hey i'm selling you back your daughter. >> reporter: jayne had heard about other kidnappings. like the one seven years earlier when kidnappers snatched this man's 25-year-old daughter, and in minutes he had to make the impossible decision.
>> i knew i should go with the police, the problem was which police. one of the toughest gangs was headed by the police who was in charge of the anti-kidnapping group. so with that in mind i knew i couldn't go with the state police. >> reporter: he chose the federal police, who negotiated with the kidnappers, arranged a ransom payment. and still, in the transfer, could not prevent the murder of his daughter. what was jayne to do? she'd heard all the stories. sometimes police themselves were involved in kidnappings. >> i knew that there was a possibility that -- that yes, there were people that i -- that were perhaps right there with me -- >> and you -- >> --that i could not trust. >> right, and you'd know that the experience of -- of well healed people had been go to this private organization, it'll take care of you. >> right. >> reporter: so as cars whizzed by and the dirt-caked blood dried on her skin, jayne placed
calls all around the world to private companies that specialize in kidnap negotiation. >> they knew all the questions to ask. they said, "how many vehicles were -- were involved? what did the note say? can you describe the people? what did their guns look like?" >> reporter: must be a sophisticated operation, they told jayne. negotiating would be difficult and expensive. at least 2,500 hundred u.s. dollars a day plus expenses, far more than she could afford. she wondered, could the state police help her? she asked them how successful they'd been solving kidnappings. >> they said, "oh yeah, we've -- we've resolved 100%." and i said, really? so, does that mean you got 100% of the victims back and you caught the bad guys? and they said, "yes. eventually we've gotten all of them." it really made me feel very uneasy and untrusting. because i know that 100% of the parking violations don't get resolved. >> reporter: there was only one choice left. the mexican version of the fbi,
the a.f.i., or afee, the elite unit of the federal police, which might at least might get eduardo back alive. >> reporter: so she made the call, went back at the ranch, cleaned up her wounds and braced herself to tell the children. the two youngest would be satisfied temporarily with a story about eduardo being on a business trip. but not fernando, then 12. he had to be told. and anyway, she needed him now. >> it was very, very tough. try explaining to a child that his father's just been stolen for money. the hardest thing i'll ever have to do. >> i'd never seen my mom like that. she looked like if the worse thing happened to her. >> reporter: he's grown fast since his father was kidnapped. even so, for his own safety, we're hiding his face. >> i asked her was it by
criminals or what do you mean taken? and she said he was kidnapped and that's all she said. and i just stood quiet. i couldn't believe it. >> how did he take it? >> devastated. i just said to him, you know, you have to know that i will do everything humanly possible to get your father back. if it takes everything we have, everything i can humanly do. >> reporter: fernando was just a boy. but not for much longer. he fled to his special spot, his private place, away from the house. >> i got on my motorcycle and went up to this rock. it's a pretty big rock and it overlooks our ranch. i just started crying. >> reporter: it was later when he learned this was likely the place the kidnappers used to spy on his family.
he never went back. now it was evening. >> i'm hoping that i'll get home like they told me, i'll open the e-mail, there will be a message and whatever i have access to, they can have it all, okay, just give him back. so i'm -- i'm at that point hoping this is gonna be open and shut deal in less than 24 hours. >> reporter: jayne got ready for the arrival of the federal afi agent. the federal police had promised he would move in right away and live on the ranch until he got eduardo back. she felt like she was waiting for the cavalry to arrive. she let hope grow. >> i expected him to roll in in some kind of bulletproof suburban and be big and burly and hopefully a little mature and having done this quite a while. >> reporter: and then, at 3:00 am, the afi agent called. could someone come and pick him up in town, he asked? he had come from mexico city by bus. >> he looked like a high school
or maybe freshman in college student with a backpack, a baseball cap, glasses, tiny, and i thought, what is going on? you mean this is what you're sending me to deal with this? and so the first things i asked him after shaking his hand was, are you armed? and he said no. and i said, why not, for god's sake? >> reporter: seasoned criminals had engineered a seamless plan to steal her husband. and all she had on her side was a short skinny kid with no apparent back up, no car and no gun. >> reporter: coming up, the kidnappers send a message from the shadows. they have a demand impossible to meet. >> now i'm thinking they're just going to kill him.
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>> reporter: jayne stared at the kid from afi with what could only be described as dismay. her husband eduardo had been kidnapped. horrifying ordeal herself, had scoured the country in a desperate search for someone to help her. she was frantic, it was 3 o'clock in the morning. and now the federal police had sent her an unarmed boy. the young man took one look at jayne. saw her disappointment. and then spoke -- >> he had a very confident smile on his face. takes off his glasses and hat and says, "look. would you really want me arriving in a bulletproof suburban and coming out with a machine gun? how would that look if you're
being watched? we could be putting your husband at risk. >> reporter: the agent, jayne learned, was older than he looked was an experienced hostage negotiator. he brought his weapon into jayne's house it was a laptop computer. >> he actually selected a place here in the dining room where he would only be the one -- he would be the only one to see his computer screen. he was in a spot where he could see all the goings on in the house, his name is a federal secret; his face a blank our interview request went to the highest level. we were denied. we do know he was constantly on line with a team of agents in mexico city. analyzing what clues they had, advising jayne's agent on strategy. not just jayne's agent, of course. >> we have as many as 25 kidnappings at a time. >> reporter: still, she might have been re-assured by this. a state of the art lab on standby to identify the voices of any kidnappers who might call
you. we have 2,374 voices related with kidnappings and extortions. >> reporter: and here, in a giant room that looks like nasa, more agents track hundreds of surviellance sites around the country. but on day one, all that expertise coughed up only this piece of very bad news the people who grabbed eduardo? were almost certainly said the police part of a fringe marxist political group called the epr. one detail was striking from the beginning. left on eduardo's carseat was a brand new hammer was it the weapon used in the attack? or something else? >> i found out that it was it was actually a calling card and that that's not unusual and that this group always leaves behind a hammer; which really gave me the creeps. >> reporter: jayne's agent considered the evidence and made
a prediction. >> you need to brace yourself and pace yourself because this is not gonna be over in 24 hours, like you'd like. as a matter of fact, this is not a matter of days or weeks. based on previous experience with this particular group, if that is indeed who it is, this is going to be months if you're lucky. >> reporter: what was it like to hear that? >> i thought i was gonna go crazy. i thought for sure i'd have a nervous breakdown right then and there. >> reporter: jayne's 12-year-old, fernando, looked on, helpless. >> she just had this face i can't describe it. it was terrible. it looked like a dead person. i was just so scared. and i put my bed and my brother's bed together and i slept with him. >> reporter: what was it like going to bed that first night, or -- >> there was no going to bed. i couldn't -- i couldn't even eat. where was my husband? what kind of conditions was he in? how was he being treated? was he even alive? how do you sleep? there was no way. >> reporter: in historic san miguel, though eduardo was a prominent local citizen, life went on as if nothing had
happened. even though he had been a known anti-poverty activist. a panelist on a local tv show. in fact, this is a recording of the very broadcast aired the night before he was taken. this is the host of the show, and a co-owner of the tv station, lucy nunez. back then san miguel's mayor and co-owner of the tv station. but what was she able to do free eduardo, or find his kidnappers? not a thing. how often was it reported on the television or radio? >> no, we never said anything. >> reporter: a request, she said, from the federal police. >> they said no comments in the radio station, no comments in the channel because we don't want these people to be afraid or whatever. and they could do something to eduardo. so it was like mouth closed. everybody was acting as if nothing was happening. >> reporter: everybody, perhaps,
but jayne, who's need for information was making her crazy. remember, the kidnappers said, go home, you'll get an e-mail with our demands. but on day one there was no e-mail, nor on day two, nor three, nor day four. and then after five full days and nights of sleepless torture, jayne turned on her computer and read the news. >> we hope the senora got home okay. for the liberation of eduardo we are demanding the amount of 8 million u.s. dollars. >> reporter: 8 million! send the money, said the e-mail, in u.s. currency. 100 dollar bills. unmarked. >> and now i'm thinking they're -- they're just gonna kill him. because i didn't have that kind of cash. but remember what happened to that other woman's husband, when she told kidnappers she couldn't meet their demands? >> they cut a finger and they send us the finger. >> reporter: wealth is relative of course, and can often be an
illusion. anybody familiar be with the idyllic ranch here outside san miguel, anybody who had heard about eduardo, scion of a famous publishing empire, might quite reasonably have assumed that he was among mexico's superrich. but that would be a mistake. it was the mistake the kidnappers made, a mistake that would about to become jaynes very serious practical problem. >> i didn't have access to anything, really, beyond our what was in our checking account. >> reporter: the fact of the matter was the valseca's were house poor. they'd put everything they had into the ranch. and at recession prices even if she could sell it she'd get a small fraction of 8$8 million. there in the dining room, jayne showed the e-mail to her federal agent, and realized he was not surprised. you know, jayne, you have to realize that this is the way this works. you're gonna be learning the ropes here. they hope to get that amount. but this is where we start negotiating. the kidnappers set the rules.
jayne must respond to their e-mails in the want ad section of a specific newspaper. her first ad, they demanded, would go in the "animals and pets" section and read."buy a chow chow dog austin, vaccinated with complete pedigree 8000 pesos." meaning, of course, 8 million dollars to buy back eduardo. they started out at 8 million, what did you respond? >> basically went out saying we're very concerned for the puppy's wellbeing, we don't want any harm to come to him, mixed into the words. and your request is beyond our economic possibilities. >> reporter: just that? >> uh-huh. >> reporter: and then waited? >> and then waited. >> comes up, at last word from her husband, photos and a heart
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>> reporter: life at jayne and eduardo's ranch was divided now and the somber after. the kidnapping of eduardo valseca brought with it unrelieved trauma. soon, all the children understood that it was no business trip their father had taken. within hours, the word spread was whispered around the school, around the neighborhood, around the town. jayne, still in shock, tried to keep life normal. even helping her children's teachers at school, as if everything was just the same. >> she was very bad inside because we know her. and she was suffering. but she was trying to be okay with in front of the children. >> reporter: jayne and her federal police advisor dutifully placed those bizarre want ads saying they didn't have the 8 million u.s. ransom. and the response a few weeks into the ordeal, eduardo's
kidnappers turned up the pressure. they began including, in their untraceable emails, letters from eduardo himself. and what he wrote in those letters was awful. i'm suffering more than i can manage. they beat me, they tie me up, i'm naked, i haven't eaten, i'm going crazy, i can't handle this torture anymore. >> it was horrible. there was something about seeing his handwriting and the way he described it, it just it destroyed me, broke my heart. that was the first time i had to take a tranquilizer. but there was more, and it was worse: the letter took an accusing turn. our children are going to know that by not paying money you left me to die. >> reporter: you left me to die in a frightening way and our children will know that you did that. and i would have gotten you out already if it had been me. what's it like? >> even in the worst possible situation i knew that some of those things did not come from him, that he was writing what he
was told to write. that was very clear to me. >> reporter: she was desperate. all she had was a household checking account. they'd put the cars, the ranch the savings accounts, in eduardo's name try as she might, she couldn't touch it. >> i felt so helpless, i wanted to do something i wanted to take him out of that hole. >> reporter: so she began selling things. first to go, the spanish horses eduardo loved so much sold for a fraction of their value. >> we had lots of rabbits and so i started selling rabbits. i sold sheep, i sold machinery. everything i could sell i sold. >> reporter: all at fire sale prices? >> uh-huh. >> reporter: all of it made hardly a dent. they wanted 8 million. she raised 20,000. in her ads, she begged the kidnappers to understand she would never have the millions they wanted. they retaliated. >> they had started saying in their emails to me that if i didn't come up with the money on a certain date, that they were going to start cutting off his
fingers. and when jayne didn't, couldn't, pay the answer was swift. it said that i've been fooling around enough. and that eduardo had sent me a package. >> reporter: she was horrified. was it his fingers? the federal agent, afraid for jayne's safety, sent someone else to follow the kidnappers directions to the buried package wrapped in plastic. and? it was not severed fingers. it was a sheaf of i.o.u.'s., signed by eduardo. with these, wrote the kidnappers, jayne could get a loan for the ransom. i was supposed to now use to go to people to hopefully be more successful in raising funds that way. >> reporter: oh, she tried. but local businessmen dismissed the iou's as likely forgeries.. summer passed. and then, october, four months into his captivity, another e-mail, with a letter from eduardo. they'd injected him with
aids-tainted blood, he wrote. and then, his words turned ugly like a man she didn't know. who are you, really? i never thought you could be this cruel and stubborn and such a bitch when the hell are you going to pay? the words, she felt sure, were not his but the torture the daily horrors? she could only imagine. thanksgiving approached. the children pulled out old home videos and huddled in their mothers bed. >> for a long time the kids watched it every single day after school. sometimes when they weren't around i'd go in and just watch the part where he blew me the kiss and said i love you, again and again. and then the next e-mail arrived, and a photo was attached. eduardo crumpled in a corner, dotted with dried blood. >> reporter: it was november. five months into the ordeal, when the kidnappers seemed to tire of the game. the email eduardo is going to
receive his first gunshot in his left leg unless there is a change in the total amount offered to seven figures. it wasn't a bluff. a photo followed with the bloody proof. >> i snapped that day. i couldn't cry. i didn't react. >> reporter: did you see these photographs of eduardo? >> i told my agent that he needed to start being my filter. that i would not be reading anymore letters and i would not look at any photographs if he wanted me to get through this and get through this sane. so that was the deal. >> reporter: two weeks later, they shot eduardo again, this time in an arm. to make matters worse the newspaper her only way of communicating with her husband's tormentors had become suspicious and refused to take more ads. >> and i had to communicate what was happening to the kidnappers, because if they didn't let me place at least one last ad, it would look like i had lost interest, and i was no longer communicating.
i had to now beg the woman on the phone to please allow me to place one more, and i would never do it again. >> reporter: the negotiations switched to another paper, but then the phone calls began. >> i thought it would be someone disguising their voice and that's what i had been trained for. the agent had warned her it might happen, had even prepared dialogue for her to memorize, and kept this erase board handy so he could prompt her. but it wasn't the kidnappers who got on the phone. >> i was shaking. i didn't -- i didn't know what to do. it was eduardo. but the things he said! >> reporter: this could not be the man she loved but it was. >> and then he started calling me names. "you're such a bitch. how could you do this? it's my money. it was more of the same that i'd been getting in the letters that they had forced him to write. she turned to the young federal agent. and he told me, "jayne, you've been preparing for this. you can do this. just relax. >> reporter: it's like the man you're desperate to have home. and who miss horribly.
is on the phone with you. you're listening to his voice. and you find you're kind of arguing with this voice. >> it was absolutely bizarre. and it was we were both playing a role. after i answered the immediate questions, and got the information that i wanted to make sure that they heard, which was very important to save his life. then i said i changed my tone and in came me. and i told him how much i love him. and how much his kids missed him. and that i would do anything to get him back, and that the money didn't matter. i'd give him everything i could. and then i could hear his tone changed completely.
and it was the real him. he told me he loved me, too. then they hung up on him. >> reporter: the phone calls were untraceable. the kidnapper's demands unrelenting. the psychological pressure excruciating. and there was something else. years earlier, jayne had beaten an agressive form of breast cancer. and she worried could it come back as she tried to free her husband? a joy-less christmas arrived. new years. how long before they killed him? >> reporter: coming up, a new demand, a new sign of hope. >> he was instructed to go down a dark alley at a specific spot. >> reporter: it was finally time to spring into action.
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>> reporter: gossipers in the tonier neighborhoods of lovely san miguel de allende chewed warily on the story that made the rounds. eduardo valseca, kidnapped? surely mexico's kidnapping epidemic hadn't spread to this famously safe retreat. no, it must have been some vicious payback, something to do with eduardo himself. and even friends like mayor lucy nunez assumed eduardo was dead. >> i mean i think everybody thought that. you watch in the television that people that have been kidnapped in three or four days, or maybe in a month or two, but this was two, three, four, five, seven. >> reporter: yes, seven months. for most of that time, the kidnappers refused to budge from their demand for a ransom of close to $8 million u.s. and when jayne went into town to beg their friends for loans, money to secure his release, she
watched their eyes glaze over. >> friends would say things to me like, "oh, jayne, i'm so sorry about eduardo, we liked him so much." and speak about him in the past tense as if he were dead. >> reporter: even on the playground, classmates told jayne's children to give up hope. >> the little kids would go up to my children and say things like, "oh, i heard your daddy's dead, that they found him in a plastic bag in the parque juarez." >> reporter: and then jayne would turn on her computer to find messages from a man barely hanging on. i need you like never before. help me. be compassionate towards me. i can't take it anymore. her own troubles, the cancer she needed to keep at bay, she kept to herself. and, as the ordeal continued, she occasionally slipped off to america for tests. >> i -- i just got there. i would have mris and blood tests. and visits with the oncologist. and whatever was necessary. and -- and i'd get back on the plane, and come back. >> reporter: and then, more than half a year in, suddenly
something new. the kidnappers' demands dropped into the into the mid six figures. that was money she might be able to borrow from some well heeled friend. >> so i started asking people, and some people would tell me, "yeah, sure. call me on such and such a date," but then i wouldn't get a -- they wouldn't answer my -- my calls or return my messages. >> reporter: lots of people, she discovered, didn't want to get involved. >> why? >> well, that they somehow by helping me they would expose themselves to -- to this sort of a thing somehow. >> reporter: at the ranch, eduardo's grown children from a earlier marriage, desperate, also did everything they could to help, but they didn't have that kind of money. and so they all felt very alone, in their little family circle, as they tried to keep hope going at the ranch. >> i want you to look at the camera and give a message to your daddy because he will see this when he gets back. >> i love him so much and he's best dad in the whole wide world because i know he's coming back
soon. >> reporter: and then, quite literally in the depths of their despair, something completely unexpected. two individuals, whom jayne had not approached for loans, went to her, separately, and wrote big checks. both declined jayne's offers of guarantees or collateral. both had a single condition -- that their identities be kept secret. which is how a new flurry of negotiations began with the kidnappers, and jayne finally received the e-mail she'd worked so hard to get. "we have a deal," it read. "be ready to deliver the money." the final amount, at the request of the family and police, was withheld. a fraction of the original demand, but it had to be in u.s. $100.00 bills. and it had to be done in secret. in the bank, only the manager knew what jayne was doing. >> i had to go in and count it in a back room and make sure
everything was all in order. >> reporter: then she called on her acting skills, stuffed down her anxiety and walked out of the bank. >> a couple of people recognized me. this is a small town. everyone knows you. so, i stopped and talked to people. and -- and even put the bag down on the floor between my feet, as if it was a yoga bag. i felt like i was stuck in a movie that i couldn't get out of. >> reporter: the kidnappers wanted a family member to make the drop. the federal agent said absolutely not, that would only invite a hostage exchange. >> so, i went to two of our employees that had been with us for over ten years. and they said without hesitation, "absolutely." >> reporter: the kidnappers agreed to the substitution. jayne drove those employees, two brothers, to mexico city, four hours on country highways and then follow very precise directions. >> what was about to happen in this great city, were it to happen to someone else would make a fine suspense flick in some saturday night cineplex,
but it was happening to jayne, and she could have no idea as she came here with her satchel full of money, whether she was going to free her husband or walk into a trap. >> reporter: were the kidnappers watching her, as she checked the brothers into the hotel they specified? was she now in danger? she felt an itch in her back as she drove through the gargantuan metropolis. no incident. she returned to san miguel, where she put a doctor and psychologist on standby. and called a charter service. she might need a helicopter. and silence. she demanded proof that eduardo was still alive. she got in return a heart stopping photo. it was him, alright. he must be alive. he was holding that day's newspaper. but the once robust, youthful eduardo was now a gaunt, emaciated stranger. in their mexico city hotel, the brothers waited with the bag of money. two days.
no word. and then finally, an e-mail. "the men you chose have to leave the hotel at 5:00 pm." they were to wear summer clothes even though it was winter. they must mark the letter "t" on their car with duct tape. there could be no weapons, no cell phones. any hint of the federal police and the deal was off. the two brothers were ordered to a fried chicken place blocks from the hotel. there would be a note taped to a pay phone. they found it. it was directions to the next stop. on it went, a macabre scavenger hunt from restaurant to convenience store to restaurant. each stop with a note on a pay phone, a map to the next location. for hours they drove the giant city. >> in the final note, on the inside, the note said, "this is a photograph. make sure that the person that meets you at the next destination has the missing piece."
it was the proof of life photo. with a hole where eduardo's face should be. he was instructed to go down a dark alley at a specific spot and meet this person who would have the other piece of the photograph. >> now the brothers understood it was at an end, and they followed the kidnappers directions with absolute precision. there were eyes on them, they knew it. they pulled up to the end of an alley as they had been ordered. one of the brothers picked up the bag of money, opened the door, got out of the car, walked down the alley and to the remaining brother's horror, disappeared. >> reporter: there in his cold fear in his car in the dark, he waited. and minutes ticked into hours. it was a trap. his brother was taken. later, jayne would learn that a strange car hovered nearby as if to guard the exchange. it was a police car. >> reporter: coming up --
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for months she's obeyed every word, followed every direction, met every demand. is she's even paid the ransom, so where is her husband? here again, keith morrison. >> reporter: at the valseca ranch house in san miguel de allende, jayne and her federal agent huddled around the dining room table and waited. minutes passed, an eternity. the tension in the room became unbearable. something was wrong, she had driven the couriers to mexico city, she had paid the ransom, she'd put a helicopter on standby, she had done everything they had asked her to do and no phone call, no message, no eduardo. then, finally, one of the two brothers jayne had sent to drop the ransom made contact. he was still sitting in his car at the mouth of that dark road. he was terrified. his brother had disappeared into the dark holding onto the sack full of 100 dollar bills. he hadn't come back. and some kind of police car was hovering around. but whoever was in the car did not behave like police.
something was wrong. >> we had his younger brother wait for him at that same spot half the night. and we got more and more nervous as every minute ticked by. finally the afi agent told the younger brother of the two, who had gotten left behind, to please go back to the hotel room. and stay by the phone. >> reporter: the rest of that night and all the next day, jayne, the afi agent, and the young man in the hotel room in mexico city watched the phone, willing it to ring. it did not. >> it took about 24 hours. and then i got an email. it said in a cynical way. we have the person you sent with the money. we've counted the money. it's all there. in unmarked bills, as we had requested. but now, said the kidnappers, now they were holding jayne's employee and would keep holding him, so that when they released
eduardo, he and jayne would have to cough up even more money to get that man back. >> reporter: well, wait a minute. at that point, now you've got no employee. you've got no husband. you've got no money. >> but that wasn't enough for them. these people not only want everything that you have, everything that you can sell. everything that you can get a loan for. they want to wipe you out. they have no problem with that. that's exactly what they want. and beat you up and teach you treat you like you were the criminal all along. no one not even the seasoned federal afi agent predicted the kidnappers would take the money and the man who delivered it. that agent was by now practically a member of the family, he'd befriended the employees chosen to go to mexico city with the money. he had been the cool one who kept jayne going through her months of crisis. but now? he left the room, stunned. >> my step son came into the house shortly after, he found our afi agent crying in the back
alley. >> reporter: they had failed. the kidnappers had every dollar it took jayne seven months to gather. now they'd kidnapped jayne's employee. but they hadn't released eduardo. had they killed him after all? and if not, where was he? the kidnappers promised eduardos release 48 hours after the drop. there was no word, no call, nothing to suggest the kidnappers had or would make good on their claim. and here the ranch there was a family to care for. life had to go on. two days after the ransom drop in a sad, distracted ceremony, they prepared a cake to mark fernando's 13th birthday. >> i blow the candles out. and i remember thinking, "i wish for my dad to come back." >> reporter: something like routine resumed. routine in limbo, on auto pilot. there were small teeth to brush, bedtime stories to read, breakfasts to prepare.
it was the morning after fernando's birthday wish. she was in the kitchen. >> and as i'm clearing the dishes someone walked by. it was very quick. and it was someone who looked very thin and frail. and very, very old. and had a baseball cap, fluorescent yellow baseball cap on, dark clothing. >> reporter: she knew the kidnappers had been watching the house. was the stranger one of them? >> reporter: coming up -- >> i'm fumbling for the keys to go to the front door to see who this person is. sand as i'm trying to get the door open, i look up and i don't think anything could have prepared me for what i saw. thanks, cortana.
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>> reporter: it was her 16th winter in mexico. eduardo had been gone 7 and one half months. she'd sold what she could, sent the money, played her hand. and still didn't know. had they murdered the love of her life after all? had they left her a single mother? was everything happy and pure now gone? it was morning in the kitchen. jayne stared out the back door of the ranch house in san miguel. and that's when she saw it. there was a skeleton out there, a walking dead man. it took a moment to register. it was eduardo. all but unrecognizable, a suddenly old man, emaciated, skin and bones. she opened the door. >> i pulled him into me and put my arm around him. and he just felt so cold. it was -- it was literally as if he -- he was already dead. and i just started kissing him all over his cheeks. he could barely talk.
he just whispered. told me "i love you so much. >> reporter: it was as if his freedom had come at the last possible moment before death. earlier, jayne had put doctors and a psychologist on standby for just such a moment as this. he refused them. and there by the door, as she held him in her arms, he begged her for her special banana pancakes. >> he said when i was trying to dream about what it could be like coming back if i ever was able to. i could always see you standing there at the stove. i could see it from the back. making my food." >> reporter: jayne tried to cushion the children from the shock of what they were about to see. >> so, i brought him his bandana and his hat. and a sweater to try to cover up his bones. it was the morning after fernando made his wish, over his birthday cake, for this very thing to happen. >> and i -- i just ran and gave him a hug. he didn't have any meat on him at all. it was just, like, if i was
grabbing his -- his carcass. >> reporter: and there he stayed, as the old eduardo crept back into that cadaverous body, surrounded by his children, his plates of food, and the woman who fought for him every minute of those months, who cried for him, who saved his life. always jayne. >> he followed me around. he wouldn't let me out of his sight, not even to use the restroom, he wanted to follow me everywhere. and here he is now, restored. >> i hadn't seen myself in a mirror for seven and a half months. >> reporter: eduardo garcia valseca uses an expression when he talks about life after captivity. "i'm living extra hours." and in those first hours of freedom, he found it hard to stand, he could barely walk. he had lost half his body weight, weighed barely 80 pounds. and could not believe how truly awful he looked. >> the first time that i saw myself against the mirror, and i
lifted my t- shirt, i put it back on immediately. i couldn't believe i looked like pure bones and skin. i just -- it was too much. >> reporter: of course, given what he had been through, he probably shouldn't have survived at all. the doctor who finally examined him, noted: late stage severe starvation, liver damage, concussion, three broken ribs, and severe stomach infections. but though the kidnappers told him they'd injected him with tainted blood he did not have hiv or aids. he hobbled around, bent and brittle, had to be supported up or down the stairs. >> it's like they sucked the life out of me. they just took everything away from me. >> dead in a way. alive, but dead. >> exactly. exactly. >> reporter: and yet, within those first hours and days of freedom. >> he was already laughing and -- and -- it -- it was as if drip by drip life was coming back into this skeleton. >> kind of like the first day of
the rest of your life. is it? >> completely. >> reporter: and then, she'd see a cloud on his face, or sense the torment in his dreams at night. he would suddenly be haunted again. >> he would wake up repeatedly all night and just reach over and -- and touch me just to make sure that it was really true, that i was there and that he wasn't dreaming. >> reporter: at night, she'd hear him stirring. and he'd fall out of bed. >> i didn't remember that i was sleeping on a bed. and still i have these flashbacks of -- i'm not sure if i'm dreaming and is this true that i'm out? or is just a reflection of my thoughts? >> reporter: and then morning would come, and with it the living nightmare. it wasn't over. the kidnappers still held their employee. were still threatening the whole family with death. and eduardo needed to tell jayne, as he is about to tell
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7 cc3 a charming and outgoing man with a ready laugh an infectious zest for life. how, we wondered, given what you're about to hear, is that still possible? he calls it the box. so this is exactly the same size? to get a sense of this bizarre prison cell, we built a replica; this is a precise copy of the miserable container in which eduardo was held for seven and one half months. here's where the air goes in here's where it's pumped out. geez. i you know, i wouldn't fit in this damn thing.
>> no. >> reporter: just like the original, the inside surfaces are covered many dark abracesive rug. a single bulb in the ceiling. an electronic eye, watching. the box is only slightly wider than our own shoulders. barely long enough to lie down in. but this is unbelievable. how do you keep your sanity in here? >> when i first arrive here and i repeat myself over and over and over, "calm your mind down." >> reporter: when he first came here. that was the violent ambush in the jeep, outside the school. then the bloody semi conscious hooded ride that followed, a blind hustle into a building, up a stair well, on someone's shoulder, the stripping of all his clothes the sudden confinement in a box. >> and since the first minute, that's the only thing i ever saw, just that box. then the vicious daily beatings. and the rules. rule one, no talking. ever. communication was by handwritten
note. the kidnappers would signal when they wanted to enter the box. always twice. always like that. >> reporter: and that was your signal to do what? >> to put a pillowcase over my head and immediately go like i am right now put my head against the wall. always. >> reporter: so you see you'd never see their faces. >> never ever, ever. >> reporter: they watched him on the webcam, kept him naked, fed him an occasional piece of fruit or a salad. a small bucket served as his toilet. it was rarely emptied. his kidnappers kept the light burning, day and night blasted the inside of the box with high volume music. >> i say, "please, just turn off the music just once, please." they say, "if we turn off the music and you're able to hear what we talk about, then we have to kill you." >> reporter: how loud was this music? >> very loud. to the point that i lost 50 percent of my hearing on the
right side. it was a combination of the loud music and the beating of my head. so, you know, when sometimes i went like this after they left the room i couldn't feel a shape of my head anymore. it was full of bumps. >> reporter: the beatings, said eduardo, intensified each time he was ordered to write jayne a new letter begging her to pay. >> and he will hit me so hard for so long, that i think he only stop when he run out of energy. he will go on and on and on and on, he broke my bones and all that, just kicking me. >> reporter: in the days after he was taken from the jeep, he prayed with some confidence that his confinement would be brief. he wrote notes to his captors saying he wasn't the wealthy man they'd taken him to be. surely, he thought, they'd check and discover that. >> i had nothing but high hopes. i thought, "this is my last week." i really believe in my head,
"this is it. next week, i'm getting out of this box." >> reporter: but he didn't get out. not for a minute. not for a second. he secretly marked off the passing days on saved scraps of paper. slowly he starved. if they gave him a bit of chicken, he'd eat the bone as well, an egg-the shell. and the tortures intensified and the kidnappers sent him notes telling him jayne didn't care about him had moved another man into the ranch to live with her. and in the endless hours of coffin-like solitude, doubt ate at his mind. >> i start feeling mixed feelings. i thought maybe she's feeling that they gonna kill me anyway, and they gonna take the little bit of money that we have. they forced him to write those accusing letters to jayne, he said. and when she didn't pay, they gave him a note announcing they would shoot him. they came in, they cover my face. they handcuff me. they put me face down on the
floor. they put the gun right on my leg, and they shot me right there. the pain is tremendous. it's like a bomb coming from the inside of your body, out. >> reporter: then, two weeks later, again the announcement in advance you will be shot. >> and now he shot me in the left arm, and right here. and again, he didn't wanna shoot the bone. so he went from here and it came out on the other side. i was not afraid of dying, because i couldn't take it anymore. it was just too much suffering. and you give up. if i had had a piece of glass or if i had had anything, i would have killed myself. >> reporter: and so he thought of home of his wife's banana pancakes. he kept himself going by dreaming of singing with a mariachi band, like he did at
his wedding. he imagined the faces of his children. >> i would hear fernando saying, "dad, i miss you." and i would see emiliano so confused. i would miss naya's beautiful green eyes. >> reporter: he was in his box for a total of two hundred and twenty five days. and then one morning. >> he put me against this wall with the handcuffs and i thought, "this is it. he's gonna shoot me." i was scared. and then i start hearing these sounds, and i didn't know what he was gonna do. >> reporter: but they didn't shoot him. instead they shaved him and dressed him, and took the proof of life photo jayne was about to find in her e- mail. it was about 4 am, he reckons, when they tied the hood back on his head, put him in a car, and
brought him here. they ordered face the wall. it was a cemetery wall. was he to die? a voice behind him said start counting. don't turn around till you hit 200. >> so i start counting from 1 to 200 right here. >> reporter: did you get all the way to 200? >> yes, absolutely. oh, i was so scare, you know, i didn't wanna screwed it up. and then he turned around and they were gone. >> reporter: you had been in that box all that time and here you are standing, all alone, in the middle of the night under the sky. >> right. >> reporter: what was that like? >> i felt the wind and the space and i could see the stars and those lights so far away. the first time in seven and a half months that i could feel the wind. and i could move my legs and
just move away from the wall and it felt really like walking in a different planet. >> reporter: approximate in. >> reporter: in a lunch box there were two boiled eggs, an apple and a few pesos the kidnappers had given him for the trip home. his legs were so weak he stumbled and fell as hobbled to the nearest highway he had no idea where he was. >> there was an old man already sitting there waiting for the bus from mexico city. i told him where i was going rancho los charcos and he told me, "this is the right bus. >> reporter: which is how, early that morning, eduardo valseca arrived at his own back door, and asked his wife to make banana pancakes. unmitigated joy and terror. terror? oh, yes. it wasn't over. >> i couldn't even relish in the moment having my husband back because we were still dealing with these people. >> reporter: now, remember, the
kidnappers were holding jayne and eduardo's employee the man who'd volunteered to deliver the ransom and for his trouble was snatched at the drop site. so now a new round of e-mailed demands began arriving. >> we started negotiating. it was like the whole thing all over again. but it wasn't quite the same. and thus the terror. the kidnappers promised to kill not just the employee, if their demands were not met. they vowed to murder eduardo, and jayne, and fernando, and emiliano, and little nayah. all of them. >> we're going to kill each one of you, and the little bit of money you have left that you didn't give us is now going to be enough to be bury each one of your -- >> it was like -- >> the members of your family. so, you're still terrified, you know? >> i just couldn't believe it wasn't over. >> reporter: jayne and eduardo traveled to mexico city to be debriefed by senior officials of the federal police. it was here, after the meeting, when they were suddenly surrounded. by men with assault weapons. >> reporter: coming in, spirited from the home they loved. how close was the danger?
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eduardo and jayne met with senior officials of the federal police who had many questions about their ordeal. and who took the kidnappers' new threats very seriously. >> you must leave. now, they were told. here at police headquarters they were suddenly surrounded by a protective ring of men with assault weapons. the police hustled them back to the ranch. allowed 48 hours to prepare, and then the son of one of mexico's great newspaper barons, with jayne and his family, was escorted out of the land he loved. >> reporter: that kidnapped employee, by the way? the kidnappers simply released him nearly three months later, no ransom at all. by then, jayne and eduardo and their children had squeezed into what they expected would be a temporary exile, two months or so at jane's mother's house in
america. why just two months? mostly because federal police assured them they had significant leads, they still insisted they knew the group responsible, a marxist revolution party called the epr. and besides, one of the officials who'd debriefed eduardo was soon promoted to commissioner of federal police and hadn't he promised personally that he'd aggressively chase down the abductors? but two months grew to three, then six. no word. >> i tried to call different times the higher officials in -- in mexico. they have never answered me back, answered my telephone calls. >> reporter: eduardo did wonder, sometimes, if they'd have to be like this man. >> follow up? what's that? >> reporter: remember him? his daughter was killed by kidnappers. and afterward, he says, the federal police did nothing, so he closed his business and tracked the criminals down himself and delivered them for
trial. >> i know, that's not that way it should be. but it was the only way to do it if i wanted to have justice. justice is something in mexico that -- that you won't get if you don't fight for it. >> reporter: jayne and eduardo did what they could to fight for it, too. but after two years had gone by, the conclusion seemed inescapable. >> when you get pulled into this whole world, the authorities in mexico basically tell you, look, you're going to be paying ransom. you know, it's as if there's no other option. it's as if they're -- they've given up from the beginning. so all we can do is hold your hand and help you through the process of coming up with an amount you can pay, we pay it. >> next. >> next. >> reporter: we arranged an interview with the commissioner of the federal police, the man who debriefed eduardo, fecundo rosas rosas. the search for the kidnappers is continuing, he said, non-stop.
>> are you close to an arrest in in case? >> it's a systematic job that does not allow us to give advances as to people being captured. we usually speak after the events have taken place. >> investigation continues? >> it is a permanent investigation with a systematic focus. >> reporter: but there was one crucial piece of information the commissioner did pass on to us. the same thing his officers had been telling jayne and eduardo all along, the epr had taken eduardo. >> yes, we do have information, precise information. >> reporter: national security, he said, prevented him from revealing more. >> i asked for proof, how did they know? >> reporter: but mexican journalist, alejandro jimenez, a specialist in terror groups and kidnappings, says his contacts inside the epr assured him repeatedly they would certainly have taken responsibility for kidnapping eduardo had they done it. but they didn't do it. still the federal police told jimenez -- >> that i should forget about the case, that it was a closed case, that he paid the ransom,
nothing more. >> reporter: it was an odd reaction, he said. and to him, suspicious. >> our reflex as mexican journalists is to suspect. they're blaming a guerilla group without showing proof, they're hiding something. police could have been involved, or maybe members of the military. which is what tends to happen in high-impact kidnappings. up in their temporary american refuge, jayne and eduardo were feeling a pull to say something, get involved. >> well, you know what? i think that the moment you cower into a corner and keep your mouth shut you become a part of the problem. so is that the example that i want to give to my kids? >> reporter: by now they'd been away two years. and gradually, month by month, the memory of their terror had come to be mixed with a nostalgia for the life they'd left behind. which is, in part, why jayne and eduardo decided to return with us to their beloved ranch.
a place to tell their story. it had to be secret. no one could know they were coming. they could stay only a few days. during their time in america, eduardo had become convinced someone close to the family must have passed information to the kidnappers before. what if they did it again? >> because you -- you never know who is informing these -- these people. >> of course. >> they knew everything about the kids. they knew everything about us. anybody could be there telling them, you know, here, they're back. >> reporter: bodyguards would come along too. a strange accessory now given what a free and happy place the ranch used to be. >> that first night, though, in your old bed in the house. was that a little weird getting back into that? >> oh, it was great. >> and i slept well knowing that we had body guards. >> reporter: it was just as they left it. their clothes still filled the closets, family portraits decorated their rooms.
even the dogs greeted them as if their forced departure had been yesterday. eduardo threw himself back at his old jobs mending fences, fixing broken bits, checking on a crop. of course the stables were still empty, his horses gone for ransom. and then an old friend hears eduardo is home and brings his own horses. his first ride since leaving the box. and in these moments, they feel, finally, like they are home again. there's a happy reunion at the school jayne helped found. they lead her around the campus to show off the progress they've made in her absence. >> wow it looks amazing! >> reporter: how painful that absence has been. their trip back to the ranch coincides with eduardo's 61st
birthday. jayne hastily organizes a fiesta. only close and trusted friends are invited. party food prepared, the favorite charro suit out of the closet. and they, in a magic evening, are transported back into the world they left behind. a world they loved. in those months in the box, eduardo stayed sane by dreaming of singing again with mariachis. tonight, he does. >> it was just wonderful. for jayne and i was just like 100% therapy to go back to the place and be -- and feel happy about it and feel safe about it. it was fantastic. >> reporter: was it possible to come back? could they find a way to feel safe? could they have all this again?
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>> reporter: the unease, if that's what it was, that accompanied jayne and eduardo back to their ranch in san miguel had vanished. this was home, they were embraced by friends and colleagues, lulled by the peaceful beauty of this place they built from nothing and it was tugging hard. come back. and then -- >> what just happened just -- just now what happened? >> okay, well eduardo came through the door with the lawyer and told me that now the -- the entire train has been destroyed on the inside, it's been ransacked. >> reporter: it was the pullman car, eduardo's inheritance from his famous father, the train in which he wooed jayne as they fell in love. he'd brought it to the ranch, a sort of magic shrine to their love and his past. and now, somebody had broken in, smashed it up. a warning? a message? and the police?. >> we called them, they said they couldn't come because they
didn't have gasoline. imagine to the answer for a police force to say that they cannot go to the ravrjnch because there is not enough for gasoline. and quite suddenly, they knew. it was over. eduardo examined the destruction in the stately old rooms, the broken heirlooms, and jayne was sucked back into the all too familiar well of fear. >> "to love is a risk as everyone knows. but jayne unreservedly loved mexico. she fell hard for a man and his country. she romanced its customs, its people, its extraordinary beauty, it was all perfect to her. but now, what she feels is deeper than setback or ordinary loss. to jayne it feels like betrayal. it's heartbreak." >> i'm just feeling like that i'm so overwhelmed with the situation that we're living in in mexico today that i just can't stand it. i just cannot bear it anymore, i wanna get far
away from here. >> reporter: neither one had to say it. their life in mexico 16 years of paradise was done. and then? they put their fine big ranch up for sale; and though their rental in america was a far more humble place. that, they have discovered, mattered not at all. it did matter to them that they paid back those anonymous donors who helped buy eduardos freedom. and it mattered to jayne, when we came to visit, that the little place looked festive. a household that celebrated just about everything. especially their own survival. >> if i continue to hold onto this in a negative way, then they just -- the criminals just keep on committing a crime against us every day, and i'm not going to let that happen. >> reporter: in the 5 years since we met jayne and eduardo, local authorities in san miguel told us there have been perhaps
3 more kidnappings of similar long duration. eduardo has frequently been told don't talk to the media. the kidnappers are still out there. might be dangerous. advice rejected. >> you are potentially setting yourself up as a target however. >> the best way to fight these criminals is to speak about it, to come with solutions. but if you keep quiet, like most people do, how are you gonna come up with a solution? >> reporter: some fellow citizens of san miguel have expressed discomfort about eduardo's outspokenness. eduardo thinks he knows why. >> some people in that we know have express madness that we shouldn't say anything because affects tourism. so they prefer -- >> it will affect the real estate values in san miguel. so let's lift the carpet, let's just sweep the dirt underneath. >> cause it's better not to say anything, not to scare anybody away.
>> reporter: it was in the box, where eduardo felt it. isolated, starved, beaten, beset by the glaring light, deafening noise, the fear of death. it was a revelation. and he hasn't been the same since. >> nothing really matters. material things have nothing. >> reporter: for eduardo, it came down, finally, to her. the woman he saw at the phone booth all those years ago. whom he wooed on his train car. who made a family and saved his life. who, as he sat crumpled in his box, kept him alive. and in love. >> i always knew love is important, but never as important as i know now. so you learn. it changes your life forever, for sure. >> reporter: we have to tell you, though it is difficult to do so, that jayne valseca's breast cancer returned full force and four years after she won eduardo's freedom, she died. and so now, their love story is
focused on their children. for whom she is not present, but certainly not gone, either. for any of them. >> she was the center of our own universe for the kids and for me. when i think about how much pain and suffering when the criminals took me away from my kids and my life, the loss of her has been harder by far. >> reporter: it would be perfectly understandable if he were bitter. but he is not. the emotion he feels, when he thinks of jayne is gratitude. >> and if they had said you are only going to live four years with the love of your life, i would have taken even four hours. four days four months. everything is a plus. >> reporter: that's all there
are to edition of "dateline" . \s >> right now at 11:00, a welcome change, spring starting off with some showers. look at this live radar here. that green is rain expected to hit the bay area. good evening. >> our top story tonight, right outside your window and front door rain making a return. it has returned to san jose. sprinkles in our parking lot at nbc bay area. a live look outside across the bay area. and from the north bay to oakland, to san jose picking up the rain. let's bring in meteorologist anthony slaughter. how much are we going to get? >> not whole lot. the first bit of shower activity